I’m sure cognitive psychologists have demonstrated this conclusively with some clever experiments. And have probably showed a much shorter timescale is in operation. People cannot see very far in the future at all – and don’t want to, because what they see out there is too disturbing.
The NY Times says we must convince the Republicans, now that they control the government – of the importance of Global Warming. But they will ask something like “How long will it take before Florida is underwater?” If the answer is “Maybe 100 years.” They will say “Not my problem!”
When, without much analysis, we can see what they are really saying is “That far away does not exist, so don’t talk to me about it!” No doubt the two variables interact – the scarier the future looks – the shorter they can look into it.
The same applies to Science – they no longer believe in it – partly because it uses a time scale, and a space scale, that extends logarithmically in all directions. Something they cannot comprehend.
This was the big discovery of the Modern World – that they want to abandon.